Thursday, July 31, 2008

Huge Thumbs up!

Do you have a hard time getting your kids up and moving in the mornings? Have to be out the door at a certain time, and kids are dawdling, playing around instead of getting dressed? I found the coolest thing! It's called Children's Miracle Music- It is SOOO simple yet effective. Each morning at 7:30 I simply push play on the cd player. Each child has the opportunity to earn 8 points in the morning.

The first point is "Make your Bed" There is lively music to get kids up and moving and making their beds. You can't help but cooperate and beat the song done. 2nd point is "use the bathroom" (ok- so I have to hit the repeat button- because the 2 minutes isn't long enough for 3 boys to use the restroom- but it works fine- just repeat it for each kid!) Point 3 is "do your act of kindness" (aka- JOBS!- each boy straightens up either the living room or dining room, then one cleans the toilet and the other empties the dishwasher) There is about 10 minutes worth of songs- all lively and energetic to help you get your act of kindness done. Point 4 is "Get dressed and put your pajamas away" Point 5 is "fix your hair" (ok- so my houseful of boys doesn't need 6 minutes to fix their hair! lol) So they feed their animals instead. Point 6 is "Eat your breakfast" 8 short songs to help them gauge how quickly they need to eat- it's 10 minutes or so- so it's really plenty of time to eat. (unless you are a slowpoke like Roo!- who has a hard time eating his breakfast that quickly) Point 7 is "Rinse your dish" So they rush like mad dogs to get the breakfast dishes done. Point 8 is Brush your teeth- I had to tell the boys to "brush until the song was over....otherwise 10 seconds later- I'm done.... yah- go back and brush them GOOD!" Then there's a song to mark your points on the chart.

According to their program- the points go towards a "private date" with mom or dad. We do it differently- as we do dates anyway- I didn't want to make them earn those- they are just so we can spend time together. We have a token economy in our home- and tokens will buy you computer/tv time, candy, small toys, soda pop, and other rewards. So they get tokens for their points. They can then spend on whatever they would like.

There is also a bedtime routine cd- which we haven't used- simply because I don't have a hard time getting kids to bed on time ....(I'm a stickler! with my 8:00 bedtime!- yes- even in the summer time- after 8:00 is MY time) Though I think I'm going to try the bedtime routine before lunch- at least the act of kindness song anyhow- and have them tidy up the rooms they are in charge of before lunch.

At any rate- it is working WONDERS at our house- sure the music and voice are cheesy- but the kids are getting up and moving quickly! Here is the website again- they have samples of the music on there.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pioneer Trek part 2

Part 2!
Here's a View of the Lake and the mountains surrounding it.

After the long hike Thursday the kids all splashed in the lake, and Ben tried a little fly-fishing. Then we had some dinner. After dinner we cooked Marshmallows and Starbursts (or as Roo calls them "Star wars" -- I think he's been listening to Bug and his friend discuss Star Wars a few too many times!) If you've never tried a roasted starburst- Give them a try! They are delicious!

We told stories around the campfire for a while, then decided it was time to head to bed. In the morning, Ben and Bug got up at the crack of dawn for a little fishing. They each caught a nice trout for breakfast. If you know my boys- you'll know that the best part about fishing is EATIN them! So they gobbled them right up.
Here is Ben and the boys filtering us some water for the trip back out. The filter works great, and it's a super thing to have around. The water was cold and delicious! (and giardia free :D!)

We packed up camp and headed back out to the car. It was a nice hike out- except for the HUGE mountain we had to climb first. Once we made it to the top we were home free. We stopped at a nice creek for refils on the water, and some lunch (peanut butter on tortillas- got to be something light-weight!)

Then Bug and Roo took off for the car- they beat us by a long shot- and sat down on a rock to wait for us. It was an amazing sight to see the lake and parking lot come into view as we came back down the mountain.
We made it! Here's Bug and Doodle back at the car.
Mom and Doodle- yeah- how come I'm carrying the pack!?
Ben and Roo- with their packs.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Our Pioneer Day Trek- part 1

We had a Great Pioneer day on Thursday! (For those not in Utah- it's a state Holiday that celebrates when Brigham Young and the first Mormon pioneers first arrived in Utah) Ben, the kids and I went on a backpacking trip! It was a lot of fun. We went to Tony's Grove, then backpacked in to White Pines Lake. It was a beautiful hike, and the boys all did great! It was about a 4 mile hike in. Then we spent the night at the lake, fished, swam and had fun. Then we hiked back out Friday morning. (hey- 1 night without "facilities" was enough for me!)
We weighed the packs before we left home- Doodle made it maybe a mile with his little 12 pound pack, and I got to pack it the rest of the way. Roo did better with his little pack (just his small sleeping bag) and Bug did awesome with his pack- it was about 25 pounds, and he made it the whole way! Ben got to carry all the rest of the stuff- 50 pounds worth!
Along the trail- the wildflowers were beautiful- pictures just can't do them justice!
Stopping for a water break
YUM! Ramen Noodles never tasted so delicous as they did that night!

Oh no! the Camera Battery died- more pictures to come tomorrow!

As we hiked I thought about the Mormon Pioneers, and how they left their homes in the East, left behind their comfortable beds, many of their prized posessions all to come here to Utah to settle. They treked for over 1,000 miles lost loved ones along the way. They suffered pain, hunger, hardship and many trials along the way. They sacrificed it all to come to a place where they would have the freedom to worship the Lord without persecution. I am so grateful for my forefathers who crossed the sea, and came west in Handcarts. I'm grateful for the example they set for me and my family. The gospel is so important to me. I hope I would have willingly gone through those same trials to be able to worship the Lord in peace. I love the valley we live in. The ward and neighborhood we live in are simply wonderful. I couldn't ask for a better place to raise my family.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Boys Club for Next Year

We have such a WONDERFUL homeschool group. There are field trips, co-ops, art classes, girls clubs, PE class, park days, and my little contribution- the "Great American Boys Club" :) I've been working hard to get it all planned out for next year. I am looking forward to it. Here are the plans for the year:
Had to do it as a jpeg in order to keep my nice neat columns- blogger didn't like them

;)If anyone has any bright ideas of activities that would be fun to go along with our club- I'm open to suggestions- ESPECIALLY on those places I have blanks....Abraham Lincoln ideas anyone?

Doesn't look like Blogger likes my jpeg either :p Ok- here's just the list and my activity ideas

Lou Gehrig- One of Baseball’s Greatest by Guernsey Van Riper, Jr.

Bean Shooters
Baseball Game

Paul Revere, Boston Patriot by Augusta Stevenson
Tin can lanterns
Revere’s ride” obstacle course

Henry Ford, Young Man with Ideas by Hazel B. Aird
Use assembly line
Cost? Model cars

Teddy Roosevelt, Young Rough Rider by Edd Winfield Parks
asthma- lunch capacity experiment
play capture the fort? (winter)

Walt Disney, Young Movie Maker by Marie Hammontree
flip book

Abraham Lincoln, The Great Emancipator by Augusta Stevenson



The Story of George Washington Carver by Eva Moore
***NOT a Childhood of Famous Americans title- a Scholastic Biography
Peanut game
Plants, gardening

Benjamin Franklin, Young Printer by Augusta Stevenson
fly kites
?small cost for string and materials to make them?
-, make candles, printing press?

Pizza Party
Presentations on a Great Man by each boy
Eat Pizza

Thursday, July 17, 2008

More summer fun

On tuesday- We went down to the Air Force Museum. Pam, my Niece K, Me, Bug, Roo, Doodle and his friend K. We had a fun time. Kids are so funny. We stopped at Golden Corral for some lunch before heading down, and on the way there, Doodle was saying how it was his favorite place to eat (something about my boys and all-you-can-eat!?) His friend K said "I'm not very hungry- I don't think I'll eat anything." I told him we'd get him some lunch, and maybe he'd find something that looked good. He says "Ok, I'll eat some macaroni and cheese" He found all sorts of food that looked good...shrimp, mac and cheese, pizza, nachos, potatoes and carrots...3 platefuls later, oh and of course Ice Cream. (Rachel- there are some vegetables in there!- you should be proud of him for picking something "healthy" lol)

When we got to the museum- they were having an activity where they showed you how to make some paper rockets, then launched them with an air compressor. It was a lot of fun watching the rockets go way up in the sky.

Bug and Doodle watching Doodle's rocket launch.

K, Doodle, Roo and Pam waiting for them to get the rocket materials all set up.

Doodle and his friend K in front of their favorite airplane- the Shark one.

Getting some energy out before we hop back in the car- they are flying their rockets around.

I thought this was a cute picture of the boys looking up in the sky at the coolest sight of the day- an airplane flying- parked ones are fine- but the best are when they are flying.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Troy's Open House

My little brother and his wife Rachel had an open house at my parent's backyard. Here's a few pics from the night.

Jared, Clint, Scott, Rachel, Troy, Eric and Me
My neice A and my brother Clint....Hey--- aren't you supposed to be in Dominican Republic? How'd you get here?! Notice the missionary badge on his suit- Clint is serving a mission for our church in Dominican Republic.
A picture of all my brothers--Jared, Scott, Troy, Clint and Eric- Have I ever mentioned I'm the only girl and have 5 brothers and NO sisters....

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Just few more pics from our vacation

I guess with over 200 pics on the camera- I'd better keep sharing them. Here's a few more

I just HAD to put up the pic of Roo catching his first fish. He's quite the little fisherman. He was SO excited about his fish. He loved it when people driving by roll down their windows and ask "are you catching anything" so he can reply "I caught one!"

In Yellowstone we explored around Sheepeater Cliffs- pretty cool place- and great way to get those wild kiddos to release their energy. ;)

Oh- and as we were picnicking at Mammoth- an elk wanted to join us for lunch.
We hiked up to the old Fire Lookout Tower above Big Springs-

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

"Lellowstone?...I LOVE Lellow!"

As we were getting ready to go into Yellowstone one day- 3 yr old Roo was soo darn cute. He asked where we were going, when we told him Yellowstone, he replied "Lellowstone?! I LOVE Lellow!" (he doesn't quite get his Y's right) And Love Lellow he does- the yellow hot springs, yellow rocks, and of course- Yellow flowers are his favorites. Here's Roo picking some "Lellow" flowers on a walk to feed the fish at Big Springs.

And a few more "Lellowstone" pictures- we hiked to Mystic Falls in Yellowstone on Monday. We had an awesome time. If you ever go to Yellowstone- get off the road- and go take a few hikes! There's sooo much more to see there than Old Faithful (which by the way- isn't the biggest, more predictable, or even the coolest geyser there)Bug in front of a waterfall we stopped to see along the way- I think this was on the Firehole River- but I'm not sure.

Pam, Roo, Bug, Doodle, and our neice K all stopped along the Firehole River.

The Whole Hiking crew in front of Mystic Falls- Me, Nick, Pam, neice K, Roo, Bug and Doodle. It was a nice hike 2.2 miles roundtrip. As we began our trek out- we could hear a thunderstorm moving in- and so Nick and the boys ran back to the car. According to Roo- "That funder freaked me out!" Here's a few more pictures from the hikeUmmmm....Which way do we go?! Nick, Bug and Doodle reading the trail map.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Roo!

Roo celebrated his 3rd birthday while we were at the cabin. He is such a cutie! Just a few pics from his birthday.

No Lions or Tigers- but BEARS! Oh my!

Yes! We saw a bear- ok- not only saw a bear- but watched the bear for almost an hour, as it devoured a deer carcass.

Ignore our silly commentary! lol

Ok- the debate is on- I thought it was a black bear- Ben insists it's a Grizzly- what's your vote?

Here's where he takes off across the road-

We were on our way back to the cabin from Yellowstone on Monday (Roo's birthday even!) and along the side of the Highway, Pam said "look there's a moose" I replied "That's not a moose- it's a bear- quick turn around!" and sure enough there he was. There were only 2 other cars there watching at first, and one drove off, so we had the PERFECT view of this guy. Some people really aren't very smart though, getting out of their cars, walking toward the bear, in front of the cars, shooting off cap guns as they drove by, tossing things out of their car. (ummm hello! That's a wild bear!)

Here's a few more pics- The bear was less than 20 feet off the road, we had the perfect view of him right from the car.